Marbella, one of the most exclusive tourist resort on Costa del Sol, is a city of about 140000 inhabitants in the Spanish region of Andalusia; it is located on the Mediterranean coast half-way between the city of Malaga and the Strait of Gibraltar, which makes trips to this beautiful city easy, also on water (indeed, it has four harbours, all prepared to receive cruise ships and yachts).
The name of the city has a Roman etymology, the result of the combination of the words MA and AR (MAR), which mean “a lot of water”, and the word BILLA, mountain. Indeed, Marbella has many years of history, of cultures that lived here and left their footprints, above all in the historic centre, where you can see Roman, Arab and Christian remaining, but also prehistoric ones, both from the Paleolithic (in Coto de Correa en Las Chapas) and the Neolithic, in the Pecho Redondo cave, in Sierra Blanca.
There are many monuments and buildings that decorate the centre of Marbella and give her the air of an exclusive tourist resort that has been able to preserve and enhance its past. We recommend the city hall, built in the XVI century; the Ntra Señora de la Encarnación church (XVII century); and what’s left from an Arab castle, built in the first years of the X century. Indeed, the historic centre of Marbella is one of the most beautiful of the whole region, and is characterised by narrow streets and white houses with flowered balconies and pleasant gardens that are undoubtedly the essence of the region.
Many parks and walking paths are a pleasure to the eye of tourists and inhabitants, who enjoy spend the hottest hours of the day here, in the shadow of a tree. The Paseo de la Alameda is undoubtedly the most famous green area in Marbella; from here you can reach Avenida del Mar, that displays ten sculptures designed by Salvador Dali; or Parque de la Constitución, with an observatory and a hall where events and concerts are organised.
Along its 30 km of coast, Marbella offers four harbours, among which Puerto José Banús is the biggest and most famous, with spaces for more than 900 boats, apart from many restaurants, cafés, boutiques and shopping centres.
Malaga airport is located a mere 45 km away from Marbella; from there you can take a direct bus (it takes about 45 minutes). For more information about prices and timetables, visit www.ctsa-portillo.es. If you fly from other cities in Spain, Marbella has good train connections (www.renfe.com), since it is situated just 27 km away from Fuengirola train station and less than 60 km from Malaga Maria Zambrano. If you prefer, the school can book for you the transfer (there will be a supplement to pay).